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History & Battles of the 1st Maryland, CSA

1861        1862         1863         1864         1865

The first encampment was "Brook's Station,"   near Aquia Creek, where the battery remained until October 1861.  Then the 1st Maryland was ordered to the banks of the Potomac river to help with the blockade effort.  They occupied a position on the extreme right of the Confederate line, at "Shipping Point."  Every two to three days the men would march to Evansport and the Occoquan River on false rumors that the enemy was advancing.  The 1st Maryland remained here until March 1862, when they were were then ordered to "Fredericksburg."

After a rough and muddy march they encamped on the south side of the Rappahannock and were attached to General Pettigrew's brigade.  Two days later they arrived in Ashland where they only stayed for a few days, then proceeded to Yorktown.  At this point the 1st Maryland was marching about 22 miles a day.  In Yorktown the company was placed under reserve corps of General Gustavus Woodson Smith.   When the Confederates were forced to evacuate Yorktown, the 1st Maryland was ordered to bring up the rear guard, and they brought all their guns with them and mounted wooden guns in their place.

General Hooker had been following the Confederates for some time and when they reached Williamsburg the Confederate Army manned the forts and breastworks in preparation for an attack with Hooker,  which the attack did take place against General Longstreet.   The rebels retreated to Barhamsville, then on to West Point where the 1st Maryland joined the command of General John Bell Hood.   The Yankees landed 20,000 strong under the command of Major General William Buel Franklin, but were successfully charged by General Hood and his Texans Brigade.   Afterwards, the company marched to the Chickahominy, then crossed over the river with the enemy following, which lead to a fight at Bottom's Bridge.

The 1st Maryland continued to Richmond then took the Nine-Mile Road for Seven Pines.  The rivers were swollen due to huge rain fall which caused all of the enemy's bridges to wash away, so General Johnston decided to attack.   Here the 1st Maryland "Displayed extraordinary military tactics and heroism."

On June 26, 1862 at the battle of Mechanicsville, the battery was engaged heavily and suffered severe losses in both men and horses.  At 4 P.M., General A.P. Hill sent for two guns of the 1st Maryland to lead the advance and crossed the Mechanicsville Bridge with the skirmishers.  General Hill ordered the guns to shell the woods because the enemy was there in strong force.   The order was carried out and they followed the Yankees up to Mechanicsville and opened on their guns while the infantry charged them.  The 1st Maryland was given credit for firing the first shots at Mechanicsville.   Captain Andrews was wounded in this battle but stayed at his post.  He was advanced to Major for "Gallant and Meritous conduct displayed in the battles before Richmond." This is when Lieutenant Dement assumed command of the battery and was to later command a reputation that put him second to no other artillery command in service.  Major Andrews had a battalion formed for him which consisted of the First Maryland, the Chesapeake (4th Maryland), and several Virginia batteries.

The 1st Maryland was then engaged at Gaines' Mill, where they were firing upon the enemy in support of Generals A.P. Hill and George Edward Pickett.  Then they fought at Frazier's Farm and Malvern Hill.  The confederates lost heavily, but were successful in preventing General McClellan from reaching Richmond.  At Malvern Hill, Lieutenant Dabney was promoted to Captain and Lieutenant John Gale was assigned to the battery.

After the Seven Days battle, the battery was ordered to Gordonville.  Lieutenant Dabney was detached and sent to Port Hudson, so William I. Hill was promoted to Second Lieutenant and J. H. Stonestreet was advanced to Third Lieutenant. In Gordonville, the battery was ordered to join General Stonewall Jackson near Orange Courthouse,  where it was attached to Lawton's Georgia Brigade.   At the battle of Cedar Run, the battery suffered severely, even though it was a decided Confederate victory under General Jackson.  Two of the 1st Maryland Guns had been ordered to the front while the rest were ordered to take position with the Louisiana Guard Artillery.  The latter guns were charged nine times, each time repulsing the enemy with great slaughter.

After Cedar Run, General Jackson marched his command to Warrenton Springs to unite with General Early, whose command included the Chesapeake Battery of Maryland or the 4th Maryland.  Here, the 1st Maryland was mistakenly ordered to cross the Rappahannock River.  During the night a terrific rain came, washed the bridges out, and stranded them on the wrong side of the river. General Jackson yelled across that if the Yanks came, the guns should be abandoned and thrown into the river.  The next day the Maryland batteries took positions in several different places to give the illusion of a bigger force.  At night, General Pope tried to attack, but were opened upon with canister, grape, and shell when they got within 300 yards of the guns.  The next day, the 1st Maryland was ordered to place their guns on a high hill.  The Calvary marched in full view of the Yankees to make them think the whole army was there.  Meanwhile, a bridge was being constructed and at nightfall General Early and his troops succeeded in joining General Jackson. When safely across they burned the bridge so the enemy couldn't follow.

On August 22, General Early's brigade Ewell's division crossed the Rappohannock at White Sulpher Springs.  This brigade consisted of the 1st Maryland, the 3rd Maryland, and the 13th Georgia.  General Pope sent a large force to attack this advance, but Dement opened on them with canister at very short range and repulsed them.  Four days later, Pope advanced again at Bristow, but again was stopped by Dement's guns until Ewell could get on his way to Manassas, VA.  

General Jackson's troops then moved to Manassas where the 1st Maryland fought beside the 2nd Maryland (Baltimore Light) under Captain Brockenbrough and the 4th Maryland (Chesapeake) under Captain Brown.  On August 28, 1862, Pope attacked Jackson and Captain Dement was ordered by General A.P. Hill to fire the first shots into the advancing Yankees.  The 1st Maryland had been positioned within 300 yards of the enemy with 32 rounds of canister.  As the enemy pressed forward in superior numbers, Lieutenant Hill of Dement's battery would drag his guns to the rear for a hundred yards, halt , and renew the fight.  Finally the enemy was driven back with heavy losses.  On the last day, the 30th, the 1st Maryland exhausted all long range  projectiles and was moved up closer to shorten the range and increase the efficiency of canister.

The next day, nearly two weeks of marching began that would take the troops through  such towns as Sudley Ford, Germantown, Chantilly, Drainville, Leesburg, Frederick, Boonsborough Gap, and Williamsport, where they crossed the Potomac River on their way to Harper's Ferry.

At Harper's Ferry Col. Crutchfield (Jackson's Chief of Artillery) took two guns from Dement as well as two from each of 3 other batteries and had them cross the Shenandoah river and make there way up the mountains to Loudoun Heights.  From here the 1st Maryland and the Chesapeake were positioned in such a way that they were able to hurl their fire into the ranks of General Miles and his troops, several hundred feet below. After just six shots upon the batteries on Bolivar Heights, the Union troops fled. After the surrender, Captain Dement marched to Sharpsburg, but arrived too late to participate in the fighting.   After the invasion of Maryland, Early's division to which the 1st Maryland was attached moved to Martinsburg, then to Bunker Hill, and on to White Post. In November 1862, they crossed the Blue Ridge near New Market, proceeded to Fredricksburg, and camped below Hamilton's Landing.

From Fredericksburg the battery was sent to Bowling Green in Carolin County, Virginia where it went into winter quarters. The camp was broken in May 1863 and the battery returned to Fredericksburg,  They were then ordered to DeJarnettes Ford (where Pole Cat Creek flows into the Mattapony River) about 6 1/2 miles south of Bowling Green the later returned to Fredericksburg where the battery was placed in Major Andrew's battalion.

    The 1st Maryland was sent to the right of Marye's Heights, but was handicapped by their Napoleons of short range.   The Chesapeake and Pogue batteries were sent to help them and both suffered severely before they were able to place their guns in position.  When the Union's infantry got within closer range, the batteries let loose and the fire from the Napoleons slowed the advancing Yanks.  The Federals were able to overrun Marye's Heights, however, and the left flank fell back some distance, but Sedgwick's success was short-lived.

    Major Andrews positioned his battalion near Telegraph Road where they were partially concealed.  Major Latimer gave orders to fire on nothing but infantry and when the enemy came suddenly upon them out of the woods, twenty cannons opened on them several times with grape and canister.   When the 1st Maryland was relieved by two other batteries, they went to the rear.   General Early sent his compliments to every man in the battery for their gallant and noble conduct on the field.  During the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the 1st Maryland Battery sustained heavy damage and later proceeded to Hollidays' Farm to repair the pieces and rest.

    In June 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia left Fredericksburg and began its invasion of Pennsylvania.  Col. Snowden Andrews' battery now belonged to Ewell's Corps which moved by way of Front Royal to Winchester, where the battalion was assigned to the division of General Edward Johnson.

    Before the Confederates entered Pennsylvania, they met the Federals between Winchester and Martinsburg.  This resulted in a victory and the capture of 2,300 Yankees.

    On June 15, Dement's battery was placed in short range of the enemy, where it held its position until thirteen of the sixteen men in the two detachments were either killed or wounded.  Lieutenant John Morgan of the 1st North Carolina Infantry and Lieutenant Randolph McKim of Baltimore, aide-de-campe to Brigadier General George Hume "Maryland" Steuart, volunteered and helped to operate the guns until the Union surrender.  Colonel Snowden Andrews and Lieutenant Contee were among the fourteen wounded and five killed from the battery.

    After the engagement, Col. Thompson, Chief of Artillery, recommended Lieutenant Contee for promotion to captain of the Chesapeake Artillery to replace Caption William Brown who had been killed.   Mention was also made of Sergeants John G. Harris and J.E. Glassocke and Corporals William P. Compton, Samuel Thompson, and William H. May "are much to be praised for their coolness and bravery on this occasion".

    From here, General Ewell took his command towards the Potomac River, which was crossed at Shepherdstown.   Dement's Battery was happy to be on native Maryland soil after such a long absence.   Upon reaching the Pennsylvania Line, the division marched towards Carlisle via Chambersburg.  They camped near Fayetteville on June 30th and resumed marching on the morning of July 1st in the direction of Gettysburg.

    General Edward Johnson and his command arrived too late for the first day's battle, but he was not to blame.   He passed through the outskirts of town and formed his line of battle along the Hanover road and that night the troops laid upon their arms.

    About 4 o'clock the morning of July 2nd, 20 year old Major Joseph Latimer began looking for a position for his guns.  Benner's Hill was the only commanding position he could find, even though it was completely commanded by the defenses on Cemetery Ridge.  Fourteen guns were crowded into the cramped space and opened at about 4 o'clock that afternoon.  The battalion immediately became the object of furious fire from over 40 pieces of Federal artillery on Cemetery and Culp's Hills.   Latimer and his command never received support or relief from any other units of Ewell's artillery, but fought bravely until dark, at which time Major Latimer was fatally wounded.

     After Gettysburg, the men of the 1st Maryland dragged their tired and distraught bodies to Williamsport where they crossed the Potomac River. At Hagerstown, Colonel Andrews reported for duty and once again took command of the battalion.

     Upon reaching Virginia, the battalion marched through Martinsburg, Bunker Hill, Liberty Mills, and finally near Charlottesville, where it remained until it was ordered to march to Mine Run to resist the advance of Meade. From Mine Run, the battalion was sent to Frederick's Hall, where it was turned over to Colonel Braxton. Colonel Andrews relinquished his command because of the recurrence of the terrible wound he had received at Cedar Run.

     At Frederick's Hall, Captain Dement and others were captured by Colonel Ulrie Dahlgren and his raiders on their way to carry out an assassination plot against President Davis and his cabinet. While a prisoner, Captain Dement was involved in the skirmish which resulted in Dahlgren's death and was able to rejoin his battery.

     In March 1864, the 1st Maryland was transferred to the newly formed Maryland Line and went into winter quarters at Hanover Junction. When Grant began his march through the Wilderness in April, the battery joined the command of General Breckinridge.

     The Confederates were assembled at Cold Harbor to administer one more crushing blow to the enemy as Grant slowly made his way to Richmond. Breckinridge ordered Dement's battery to the front and to hold Grant in check until he could form his line of battle. Dement brought his battery up on the run and in an instant was pouring canister into the enemy. When Grant attacked the next morning, June 3rd, the 1st Maryland contributed its share in what turned into a general slaughter of the Yankee troops. The 1st Maryland fired nothing but canister from its Napoleons and by dusk, over 10,000 Federal solders had been lost, while the Confederate casualties were minimal.

     When Grant moved from Lee's front, Lee crossed the James River and the 1st Maryland went into position near Wilcox's Run. After remaining there for a while, it was placed in one of the fortifications near Petersburg. On June 22, 1864, Mahone's division of the Third Corps moved out of the works to attack the enemy's left. Lieutenant Colonel McIntock, now commanding the battery, accompanied Malone with the Maryland battery under the command of Lieutenant Gale.

     At the proper time, Dement's Battery moved quickly forward, took position near the enemy's works and opened fire, while the infantry under cover of the artillery rushed forward and carried the enemy's entrenchments. They captured a large number of prisoners and four pieces of artillery. Lieutenant Gale and the men were complimented highly for their gallant behavior.

     The battery received a narrow escape from the explosion of Burnside's Mine, but many of the men were wounded by the falling debris. Then began one of the most terrific artillery duels of the war, for Grant opened simultaneously with every  gun. Never before had the 1st Maryland been under such a fire.

      At this point, the battery had been seen upon the field of action for the last time. It spent some time in the fortifications around Petersburg until January 1865, when their guns were taken from them and they were sent to man the heavy guns at Drury's Bluff, from which they never fired a shot.

     The end of the war was fast approaching and when General Lee evacuated Petersburg, the men of 1st Maryland Artillery followed with muskets in hand. At Saylor's Creek, they were engaged in a severe fight, when Harry Pennington of Baltimore gave up his life for the cause he loved so well, the last man of the battery to be killed.

     Finally, on April 9th, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, the First Maryland Artillery surrendered.

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03/16/99 19:57

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